Many dog owners can get surprised by the sheer number of potential allergens for dogs. After all, this isn’t exactly something we think about regularly.
Since a dog’s health is a massive priority for pet owners, we’d like to keep them away from allergies as much as possible. Just like with humans, allergies can be very irritating, and at times, even life-threatening to our furry friends.
In this article, we look at five of the most common allergies for dogs. That way, you can keep your pets away from potential allergens that could cause discomfort.
Keep reading to learn more.
1. Seasonal Allergies
Yup, you read that right. Just like humans, dogs can have seasonal allergies as well. And just like with humans, seasonal allergies are not fun at all. However, the reactions that dogs have to these allergies are very different from humans.
The most common signs that a dog is suffering from seasonal allergies are skin irritations and recurring ear infections. However, it isn’t uncommon for them to experience sneezing, swollen eyes, and a runny nose as well.
So, if you see your pet scratching more than usual, rubbing on carpets and furniture, or licking themselves more frequently than usual, that could be a sign they’re experiencing allergies. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, and some dogs can even scratch themselves raw.
So, make sure to bring your dog to the vet right away if you notice any symptoms.
Another common allergy for dogs is called Flea Allergy Dermatitis. It basically means that a dog is allergic to flea bites. Flea Allergy Dermatitis is one of the most common dermatological diseases in dogs in the United States.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis is also known as FAD and is most likely to occur in the summer months. Since fleas are more prominent during warmer weather, so is FAD. When a flea bites your dog and injects its saliva, allergic reactions may occur.
The saliva contains a compound that is similar to histamine, amino acids, and polypeptides. The severity of the reaction will depend on how much exposure the dog has had to the histamine compounds and the dog’s immune response.
The allergy can affect the entire body, so once you notice the signs, it’s best to head to a vet as soon as possible.
3. Human Food
There are a whole lot of human foods that dogs can be allergic to. In fact, chicken allergy in dogs is relatively common. Proteins are common food allergens, so lamb and beef could also cause allergic reactions in your dog.
Feeding a dog, a single food for years can cause them to develop an intolerance to the food. So, since chicken, lamb, and beef are common ingredients in dog food, they could potentially develop allergies.
Eggs, wheat, and dairy are also human foods that dogs can be allergic to. So, if you notice that your dog has had an adverse reaction such as vomiting, rashes, or diarrhea after eating a particular type of food, they might be allergic to it.
4. Dog Food
Dogs can also be allergic to dog food. If a dog has an allergic reaction to their dog food, chances are they are allergic to one or more ingredients in it.
An allergic reaction to dog food usually doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with the brand. Instead, it is just a unique immune response that your dog has to the ingredients. That means that regardless of the brand of dog food, as long as it has a specific ingredient, your dog could have an allergic reaction.
Sometimes, dogs have reactions to contaminants in the food rather than a specific ingredient. This is why we recommend feeding your pet all-natural food and treats.
5. Medicated Shampoo
Another common thing dogs can be allergic to is medicated shampoo. Some medicated shampoos contain ingredients that could cause your dog to release histamine, leading to skin irritations.
Sometimes, these compounds can cause severe reactions that would require immediate medical attention. Usually, these reactions will start relatively mild, but they will get more intense with prolonged or repeated exposure.
So, the second you notice that your dog developed hives, rashes, bald patches, or swelling after using a medicated shampoo, stop immediately. The more you use the shampoo on the dog, the more intense the reaction will be.
Once you notice the reaction, rinse off the shampoo immediately and observe your dog. Certain OTC medicines like Benadryl could also help with the symptoms, but only with a vet’s recommendation.
What Do I Do If My Dog Is Experiencing an Allergic Reaction?
If you notice your dog experiencing an allergic reaction, the first thing you have to do is to figure out what caused it. Try to remember what they ate, what they were exposed to, and if they have any history of allergic reactions.
This will not only give you a better idea of what’s going on, but it will be much easier to describe it to a vet. This leads us to the second step: calling the vet.
Whatever the health emergency is with your pet, it’s always best to call the vet right away. Veterinarians go through a lot of training to ensure they can properly diagnose and recommend treatments for animals. So, once you have narrowed down the possible causes of the reaction, call your vet and describe what is happening.
You will also probably need to bring the dog to the vet for further inspection. This helps the vet get a clearer picture of the dog’s condition. From there, the vet will recommend what to do and how to treat the allergy properly.
Sometimes, medicines are prescribed to alleviate some of the symptoms.
Prevention is always better than a cure, so if you can, try to keep your pet away from potential allergens as much as possible. But no matter how hard we try, there are times that our dogs will develop allergies and sicknesses.
So, once you notice something wrong with your dog, call your vet’s office and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.